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A Chat with The Uglysuit (22.02.23)

Soaring back into the music scene after 12 years, US-based six-piece The Uglysuit brings their “bright and breezy” sound to the masses. We spoke with members Dustin Maynord (bass and guitar) and Colin Bray (vocals and guitar) about their album, what music means to them, what alcoholic beverages they would be, and future plans.

OSR: What drew you to music and how did The Uglysuit come about?

Maynord: Nirvana drew me to music but my mother pushed me into it. Instead of grounding me for something dumb I did, she bought me an Epiphone strat copy and 1 month of guitar lessons. I knew I was supposed to play music.

The Uglysuit came to fruition because the band before it Corban Eldra broke up but the songs on this album were actually the transition to the sound of The Uglysuit. The most talented people I know took Corban Eldra and made it better as The Uglysuit (everyone for CE plus the addition of Jonny and less myself).

Bray: Definitely my brothers/bandmates. It was something we all dabbled in various forms starting in Junior High for me. From an inspiration standpoint, I recall hearing ‘Time’ by Pink Floyd, on the radio at a young age. It gave me chills, the guitar work blew my mind. I wanted to be able to create sounds one day that could give people the same joy and feeling that the song gave me, and so many years after that song was written.

OSR: What does music mean to you?

Maynord: Music to me is an escape. And there are so many good bands and artists out there, I have found multiple ways to escape. I can play it, I can write it or I can listen to it. But I can wake up and want metal or classical and by the end of the day, I’m listening to electronic or pop-punk.

Bray: We all know music is art. Something we can hear, feel, and be a part of. For me, it has been a vehicle to attain one of the greatest feelings I know of on this earth. When I get together with these dudes, the wall of sound we are capable of creating takes me somewhere. Not many things in life are even capable of reaching this level of fulfillment for me. Alone what I can do, doesn’t compare to what we can do. Music brings us together. With us together, massive movement and dynamic energy shifts are possible and we can take others with us on this journey. Music can bring EVERYONE together.

OSR: Who or what inspired you to make music?

Maynord: The most inspiring is Kyle Mayfield from The Uglysuit. Always challenging me to use the ear I was gifted with. Even if I can’t play what I’m hearing in my skull. But The Uglysuit as a whole is inspiring. Not even as a full band, but everyone individually. They all bring a different sound into my life.

Bray: As I stated above. ‘Time’ by Pink Floyd captivated me at a young age and I wanted to be able to make a beautiful sound somehow someday and I knew it early on. Sigur Ros would also have to be in that conversation for me as a major inspiration early on. My brothers and I were also always going to show even as young dudes and that also played a part. Thanks to our parents for all that exposure to bands and live music.

OSR: What can you tell us about your album Before The Suit? Was there a theme or backstory?

Maynord: The theme was a transition from emo/screamo to making fun jams and exploring our creativity as a whole. We also had the opportunity to record an album for cheap (almost free) so why not make it what we wanted.

Bray: It is just a group of our favorite songs, from our heavier band before we started The Uglysuit. Corban Eldra was more screamo, pretty heavy. But these songs were the tail end of the band and showed our transition to the more chill vibe we tend to write like today.

OSR: If you could change one thing about Before The Suit, what would it be and why?

Maynord: I wouldn’t change a thing. We did what we did with where we were in life. Could it have been mixed or mastered better? Absolutely! But this was 2005 and it wasn’t that easy back then. I loved our experiments with different sounds and I think that is what changed our trajectory in music.

Bray: That these songs would have seen the light of day before now.

OSR: What is your creative process?

Maynord: Pretty simple, I come up with a riff and every one builds on it. Or I build on someone else’s creativity. I know it’s different for everyone else in the band but that’s how it works for me.

Bray: For me, it is this group of gents. always has been. Someone starts with a little ditty usually and it’s been any and every one of us at any given time. It’s a beautiful thing. Someone gets into a groove and stays there. One by one we each figure out our lane in that groove and let it rip. We will settle into it, marinate, and jam it out well before moving on to the next part.

Maynord: I just hope there is one song or one jam that puts a smile on people’s faces.

Bray: A smile and love ’cause that’s what it was made with.

OSR: What do you hope people take from Before The Suit?

Maynord: I just hope there is one song or one jam that puts a smile on people’s faces.

Bray: A smile and love ’cause that’s what it was made with.

OSR: If you were an alcoholic beverage, what would you be and why that drink?

Maynord: A Coors Light, ’cause that shit is easy.

Bray: A White Russian because the dude abides.

OSR: Do you have any bad habits and what are they?

Maynord: Watching dumb crime shows. If I want to chill and do nothing I watch a stupid big network crime show. Mostly because I don’t have to care about the outcome. I just hear a dialogue and I’m set.

Bray: I get so damn excited it’s hard not to interrupt people with the thoughts spewing from my brain. I’m trying. Definitely a big one for me!

OSR: Do you have future plans for The Uglysuit?

Maynord: I don’t have any plans. I just want to go where this adventure takes me. We haven’t played a live show in over ten years. Maybe that will change. If not it’s still the tits that we have played together in the past three.

Bray: It is my hope that the music always binds us and that we keep creating and releasing music at least. I would love to be able to do a show every once in a while and maybe we will work towards that but only when all is right and the sets are tight. Things are different now with kids involved but we are writing and practicing and that is extremely exciting for me personally. There’s no creative release like it.

Many thanks to Dustin Maynord and Colin Bray for speaking with us. For more from The Uglysuit, check out their Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

This artist was discovered via Musosoup #sustainablecurator